News in Brief 20 July 2016 (AM)

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People fleeing intense fighting in Mosul, the third largest city in Iraq, crossing into the Erbil governerate. Photo: UNHCR/Inge Colijn

US$284m needed in humanitarian relief ahead of Mosul campaign

An appeal for US$284 million in humanitarian funding has been launched ahead of the anticipated Iraqi government-led military campaign to re-take the city of Mosul.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Lise Grande, said that as many as 1.5 million civilians could be impacted, and its effects would likely be "devastating".

The UN and humanitarian partners are warning that "time is running out" to properly prepare for the military operation to drive out the terrorist group ISIL, or Daesh, which has occupied the city since July 2014.

Ms Grande said that "mass casualties among civilians are likely, and families trying to flee are expected to be at extreme risk."

She added that unless additional funding was received immediately, the humanitarian operation would be unable to provide vital support services.

A previous appeal launched during the successful campaign to re-take Fallujah from Daesh, was only 40% funded.

"Urgent global push" needed to end AIDS in children by 2020

An "urgent global push" is needed to meet the goal of ending paediatric AIDS by 2020.

That's according to stakeholders who met in a special session of the 21st International AIDS Conference, in Durban, South Africa, on Tuesday.

The session focussed on how to reach the global target of providing access to antiretroviral therapy, for at least 1.6 million children, by 2018.

There have been major gains in preventing new HIV infections among children said the UNAIDS agency, but the treatment needs of youngsters living with HIV, are not being met.

Protests in Mexico that left at least six dead, condemned by UN Indigenous

Protests and demonstrations in the Mexican state of Oaxaca over education reform which left at least six dead and 100 injured, have been condemned by the UN's Indigenous Forum.

Alvaro Pop, Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, expressed his "absolute rejection and condemnation" of the clashes between police and the National Education Workers Coordinator union, which took place late last month.

On Wednesday, Mr Pop called for constructive dialogue between the government and the union, to "find a solution that respects national and international obligations undertaken by Mexico to promote and protect the rights of its indigenous peoples."

He said that as Oaxaca state had the largest cultural diversity in the country, any reform should reflect that, and negotiations had to be carried out in a "mutually respectful manner."

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’12″

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